Alcohol may increase the risk of a hip replacement due to osteoarthritis.

Researchers followed roughly 83,000 women who had no diagnosed arthritis when they enrolled in the study.

After 24 years, the risk of a hip replacement due to arthritis was 31 percent higher for women who drank 1 to 1½ drinks a day and 34 percent higher for those who drank more than 1½ drinks a day compared to those who didn’t drink. The risks were no different for beer, wine, or liquor.

What to do

If you don’t consume alcohol, don’t start. If you do drink, aim for no more than one serving a day (for women) or two servings a day (for men). Moderate drinking doesn’t protect against heart disease or any other illness. In fact, it may raise the risk of breast and colorectal cancer.

In mice, alcohol can lead to inflammation in joint cartilage, but more studies are needed to know if it causes arthritis. Though the researchers took exercise, weight, and other factors into account, something else about women who drink more alcohol may have accounted for their increased risk. 

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